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Amanda Martinez

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Graduating with a master’s degree in international business from York University, Martinez landed a job as the Latin American relationship manager with one of Canada’s leading banks. However, after seeing a midday concert at First Canadian Place in downtown Toronto, Martinez quit her job and hasn’t looked back. “I realized that my heart wasn’t into what I was doing” she says.

The daughter of a Mexican-born father and South African Jewish mother, Martinez says music was always part of family gatherings. Travelling to Mexico gave her a feel for the jazz, Latino and AfroCuban music scene in which she’s been performing professionally since 2001. “I grew up listening to a lot of my dad’s musical collection, which had a huge influence on me,” she says. “Music is in my blood”.

Currently, Martinez hosts a Latin music program on the CBC radio network and performs regularly.

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